‘Build a statue’ – Four rival bosses react to Dyche shock

Matt Stead
Sean Dyche embraces Mikel Arteta

Four Premier League managers have reacted with shock at Burnley’s decision to sack Sean Dyche.

The Clarets took the surprise decision to part ways with Dyche after almost a decade under his tutelage, hoping that the decision can revitalise their survival bid.

Burnley are 18th in the Premier League table, four points behind Everton with eight games remaining.

Snap judgement: Burnley have f***ed this with Dyche sack

“During his time at Turf Moor, Sean has been a credit both on and off the pitch, respected by players, staff, supporters, and the wider football community,” said Clarets chairman Alan Pace.

“However, results this season have been disappointing and, while this was an incredibly difficult decision, with eight crucial games of the campaign remaining, we feel a change is needed to give the squad the best possible chance of retaining its Premier League status.”

The call has shocked a number of rival Premier League managers, who were asked for their reaction during pre-match press conferences on Friday.

Brighton coach Graham Potter was “surprised”, adding: “I feel for a colleague, someone I have a lot of respect for.

“It is never nice when someone loses their job, of course, and we know this is football and these things happen but I don’t think he will be out of work for long because the job he did at Burnley was fantastic.

“I think it is part of life. Sean is a big guy, he knows how it is. The reality is there are more people to feel sorry for than Premier League managers but there is a pressure, an expectation. Sometimes it is fair, sometimes it is unfair – it goes with the territory. We know that when we go into it. We know when results don’t go well you are under pressure, you have got scrutiny. But it is part of the thing you sign up for and you have to deal with it.”

Thomas Frank cranked things up a notch, saying he was “massively surprised” before suggesting Burnley should erect a Dyche statue outside Turf Moor, which we are firmly in favour of.

“I don’t know what happened behind the scenes but looking from the outside, looking as the Brentford head coach, I think there’s a lot of things we can learn from like a club like Burnley,” said the Dane.

“They got promoted. They got relegated. They got promoted again. They’ve been here, what, six or seven years in the Premier League? It’s remarkable what they’ve done. Sean Dyche and his coaching staff, everyone involved with the football club, have done an unbelievable job. Sean Dyche deserves a lot of credit – they should build a statue of him outside Turf Moor.

“What he’s done, with his coaching staff, is incredible. Every season, going into that Premier League, probably bottom three, bottom four budget, and then still being able to compete, still being able to not even survive but I think it was at least a couple of top half places, is a fantastic, remarkable job.

“I remember there was one year when [you thought], ‘How can he not be Manager of the Year?’. So I think he’s done a top job.

“I think – this is my personal opinion – they would have had a better chance. Looking from the outside, keeping him and trying to survive, because he knows everything. But of course I don’t know everything.”

Dyche was recently tipped to replace Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who said: “I only have words of praise because what he’s done at the club over the last ten years is phenomenal.

“He gave the club a really clear identity, he’s managed to keep the team, with one of the smallest budgets, consistently in the league. I wish him the best of luck and as always with colleagues, it’s sad when you see those decisions.”

Roy Hodgson added to the chorus of support for a fallen comrade: “Of all the people in the league, he would have been one of the ones I would have thought most likely to survive anything like this so I have no idea what’s happened.

“Something must have happened because you don’t part company with a manager like Sean Dyche after all the fantastic things he’s done for that club over the last 10 years, he has built the club.

“So I was surprised, shocked and disappointed too because I know Sean quite well and I admire him as coach and a manager. I didn’t think that something like this would happen to him.”